So, you guys, I’m going to get to all the comments you’ve left over the last few days just as soon as I am done sharing some shots I took today. All of my followers and commenters are totally rad and you guys have really been the motivation for me to continue writing about my journey, so KEEP IT UP!

I went out with a good friend of mine today to give my camera its’ first taste of the world. He shoots from a 35mm Canon and I have insane respect for him because he really knows a lot about photography, and he is comfortable knowing that he isn’t going to waste a lot of film since he knows what he is doing. So if you’re reading this blog and you’re shooting a film camera, I’ll buy you a beer any day of the week.

We began our day by meeting at Subway for some breakfast. I had a flatbread sandwich and a cup of coffee. I asked the guy “hey, do you give refills on coffee?”, to which he replied “yeah, there’s not really a refill coffee button on the register, so I can probably do that”. Hell yeah, I’ll just drink my coffee down while we eat and top it off on the way out. So we ate, and I stopped at the register on the way out. “Mind filling me up before we head out?”, I politely asked. He nodded, and I removed my lid and pushed the cup towards him. I was met with a rather awkward facial expression. I looked down to find that it would have been impossible to put any more coffee in my cup, because apparently I only sipped about an ounce out of it over a half hour. WTF! How embarassing. Even in real life I look like I have no clue what I’m doing.

We headed out south of Joplin to the Wildcat Glades Walking Trail. Even though I read up quite a bit before ever receiving my camera, I explained to Zach that it was a lot different actually holding the thing in my hands, so he gave me some friendly pointers related to aperture, f stops, and ISO. The walking trail winds through an old part of Joplin and has a creek that slithers along beside it. We had been walking for a little over a mile on the trail, and I had only taken a couple of pictures, and they all sucked. I was starting to feel a little discouraging, especially after reading so many of your blogs. You guys always have cool stuff to take pictures of, and here I was at a loss, in the middle of nature. I glanced to my right and saw a couple of wooden chairs on a rock bank about 10 feet off of the creek. Not wanting to sound like a rookie, I told Zach there might be something interesting over there, and that we should go and take a look for a possible photo op. ***ALSO, I figured out how to not be an idiot, so now if you click on the photo, it takes you to a page with the full size goods.

Here’s what the setup looked like from a little ways out.


I noticed that there was something on the chairs on the left hand side. Now, I think this is cool so don’t rain on my metaphorical parade.


Yeah, true story. There wasn’t a house nearby that I was aware of, yet someone took the time to paint a checkerboard down by the creek. And they’re using rocks as pieces!! Unbelievable. I thought it was an incredible find. So, for your enjoyment, here’s some more shots of the chairs and board.






One of the things right off the bat I noticed is that I need to increase the depth of field on the images to bring more of the rocks and more of the board into focus. I believe a commenter made that observation on my last post, and I obviously failed with several of these images. One thing I do like about photography in general (at least what I know so far) is that I really dig a picture where your subject is in focus and everything else is out of focus. To take pictures like the ones I saw utilizing this tool was probably the reason I got into photography in the first place, so it is definitely an element that I value fairly highly even at this early stage. I know that for more landscape style shots I want a broad depth of field, but I didn’t see a whole lot in my outing today that warranted that style of picture taking. I did have a few other shots from today that I will blog about later on tonight if I have time, but for now, I thought I would at least get these out there for you all to see.